Today’s lesson comes from being present while doing the most mundane tasks. I’ve always wanted to live in a (at least) 1 storey house. Now that my wish has been granted I never thought that would mean going up and down the stairs multiple times/ day while carrying loads of things (a glass of water, Iphone charger, laptop, then laptop charger, socks! brrrr you see where this is going, right?!). Add lets add laundry! to that list and soon enough I’d end up like a Chinese acrobat juggling the funniest combos while mindfully walking up and down the stairs.
My insight happened the other day while going up the stairs while counting the steps and repeating to myself “1 step at a time, Ileana; 1 step at a time” (try doing that calmly while you’re peeing big time). You see I was carrying a heavy load of freshly dried clothes, a handful of other items, again water! (highly dangerous, I know, as you can spill it and slip on it) so my plate aka my hands were full. In my enthusiasm half way up, like there was no turning back one of those moments occurred and something had to give. For just 1 split of a second I lost my balance and it looked like a catastrophe in the making. Me, falling, unable to reach anything to hold on to, in pain, with stuff all over the place and the nagging voice “I told YOU so!”. Luckily, I was spot-on and quickly re-composed while repeating to myself my stair-counting mantra “1 step at a time, 1 step at a time, Ileana”. I was saying that out-loud but for 1 moment my mind went in an instant to another place (upstairs, duuh, and to the other items I was about to bring downstairs).
And then it hit me, pun-intended. How many times have we not committed to more than we can take even tough we KNEW that was too much? How many times have we gotten ourselves over-friggin’-whelmed with chores/ stuff/ to-do’s maybe sometimes just for the sake of “being busy” or keeping up with others in our life who seem to be so successful and hence they are ALWAYS busy doing something?! (being non-stop on social media doesn’t help either). How many times have we told ourselves “I will start THIS tomorrow”? (and then let other commitments pile one on top of another, sacrificing often what is really important to us out of fear of not letting people down?). Or perhaps wanting to start a new creative project/ business/ positive habit and then getting frustrated as we want all the answers/ details now and then deciding we’ll wait until we have ALL the facts and better timing?! (insert your excuses here).
We will always have fear. Resistance. Uncertainty. And unless we find inside ourselves the courage to take 1 single step at a time nothing is going to change for us. Be it clean clothes or writing that book you’ve been talking about for ages, starting your blog, asking for a raise, drawing that portrait, taking up a new career, signing up for that class where you know you’ll be a complete newbie (and you will suck! and that IS fine, too!).
So, before I head downstairs again for the millionth time today (my desk is upstairs, its where I write and I also forget stuff most of the time) let me ask you this 1 thing “if nothing changes, 3-5 years from now, looking back on yourself, would you regret NOT having taken this opportunity?! YES or NO?!”. What comes first?! Don’t over think it, just be aware of the sensations in your body and mostly your stomach (your “gut”). That’s all. Your gut always has the answer. You don’t need to let anyone know, apart from yourself what that answer is.
I really hope to hear from you soon and your new beginnings. And while looking back may today be the day you sat with yourself even for just a minute and listened to yourself. Then, take 1 step at a time in the direction of your dreams.
Signing off today with one of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela:
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
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